Edkedsha ‘KeeKee’ Mathis is on a mission
to increase supplier diversity at Volkswagen
As the Supplier Diversity Manager at the Volkswagen Group of America’s plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., Edkedsha Mathis said she relies on a concept called the three A’s: Aim high, apply yourself and achieve your goals.
Mathis, whose supplier diversity position falls under the company’s purchasing department within the Chattanooga Plant location, which employs about 2,800 workers, said that her concept is rooted in the philosophy that credibility is built on results and leaders that achieve by doing and not just advising.
“As a young adult venturing into the business world, I had a road map and goals. One year, three years, five years and 10 years,” Mathis said. “That’s something you need to stick to. Make two road maps, one for yourself on a personal level and a professional one to present your leadership as the path that you want to follow.”
Mathis continued: “When you are in your evaluations with leadership, you can show them this is where you are and this is where you want to be; advise your leadership that you need their guidance and support to meet these goals.”
For Mathis—whom colleagues and family members affectionately call “KeeKee,”— mentoring and offering advice to young women, minorities, and anyone within the diversity community is one of the traits she’s demonstrated as she’s helped Volkswagen’s Supplier Diversity Program remain one of the most successful in the world.
Born and raised in Chattanooga, Mathis has been with Volkswagen for eight years and she has more than 20 years of experience in purchasing, which includes supporting as a regional buyer, service buyer, supply chain support, key user for all of the purchasing systems and lean management.